Journal

Negative Space Author Q&A: Amelia Gorman, “Puzzled Pieces, Lock-in Places”

This is part of a series of interviews with contributors to Negative Space: An Anthology of Survival Horror from Dark Peninsula Press. Check back here over the next few weeks as I post more of these so you can get to know these great authors and get a little taste of this awesome collection! Negative Space: An Anthology of Survival Horror comes out on June 19th, 2020!

Q: Tell us about your story in the Negative Space anthology.

A: My story, “Puzzled Pieces, Lock-in Places” is me finally reaching my goal of writing a horror story set during one of those epic, once-in-a-lifetime Minnesota winters where you can’t see your hand in front of your face, or even open the door because the snow on the other side is too high. I moved to California a couple years ago, but I’ll never forget how awful it is to go out for necessities even in a busy city when it’s 40 below zero. It’s a topic I’d wanted to tackle for a long time but could never really decide what else would happen in it. When I saw a submission call for Negative Space it finally began to come together – the isolation, the elements, and of course some additional strange supernatural things born from those elements, all provided interesting challenges that let my protagonist draw on a variety of tools and skills.

Q: What work (fiction, video game, movie, TV show) of survival horror would you recommend as a gateway to the genre?

A: I’d recommend an intro game that goes off the rails a little bit. I know a lot of people get turned off by the clunky controls and battle with the camera that defines a lot of classic survival horror games (Alone in the Dark, Silent Hill, etc.) With that I’d recommend Don’t Starve, with it’s 2.5D camera. Failing to survive is almost as fun as succeeding, as the game has nearly endless and enjoyable ways to kill you, by running down sanity, body temperature, hunger, and poison. And you can never ever be alone in the dark.

Q: What writing project are you currently working on?

A: I want to write something that marries my experiences in Minnesota and far north California. Well, I was shocked to come out here and find out that Paul Bunyan is a huge deal in local folklore in both places. So, I’m writing a horror take on some Paul Bunyan myths!

Q: What survival situation do you most fear?

A: Well, I was recently out hiking in some dunes and realized I had been just kind of mindlessly following some mountain lion tracks, and had an a-ha moment of “oh right, knowing what to do re: wild animals IS important.” But actually, probably riptides. What an absolutely bonkers force of nature that can take you so by surprise.

Q: Where can readers find out more about you and your works?
A: I have a website I need to remember to update more often at www.ameliagorman.com and I occasionally tweet from @gorman_ghast. I publish more poetry than stories, with some recently appearing in Liminality Magazine, House of Zolo, and Sycorax Journal.

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